Year 9 pupils from St Edmund Arrowsmith and other schools and college in the Greater Manchester area have taken part in a new campaign called Changing the Narrative: Unmasked and Stronger Than Ever. The campaign aims to highlight some of the positives that have come out of the pandemic for our younger generation who have often been referred to as ‘the lost generation’. Our pupils have experienced a lot throughout the last 18 months but have also been extremely resilient and gained a lot of new skills in school and out. We are extremely proud of them all and how they have handled such a difficult and challenging time. 


As a result of this project we decided to create a video entitled ‘The Year We’ which highlighted the lockdown experience of our school community and pupils.


Five of our pupils then went to Wigan and Leigh College to take part in a conference about Changing the Narrative. We asked them about their own experiences and thoughts shown below.

I am grateful that I got the opportunity to get involved in such a positive project and that I got to find out what other people’s opinions and views were on the topic of lockdown. It allowed me to get involved and share my own experience knowing that it wasn't just me who was going through this. We are all together in this and the video hopes to spread the message that we are not a lost generation. 

Changing the narrative gave us a platform to focus, not only on the positives of lockdown, but to be thankful that we have become more independent as a generation. Our experience over the last few years has provided an opportunity to reflect on what we want our world to look like and what our futures will hold. 

That’s what lockdown has given to me, time to reflect on what I truly want to be. Whether that is to be more confident, or to appreciate what I have in life instead of taking everything for granted. In our current situation, we can't just go out and visit multiple people’s houses as we please. We have had to give up our time with our friends to protect those that we don't know. We have all come together in a negative time and changed the narrative to give us a positive outcome of this unforgettable time. 


- Leah M 10A


I really enjoyed working on the changing the narrative project as I got to meet with new people and discuss new ideas about looking at the pandemic more positively for young people. I found that the pandemic did have some positive impacts on my independence, motivation and resilience and helped me to manage my time more effectively.


- Hannah W 10C


I was really excited and enthusiastic about getting involved in this project as I really believed it was important that we were able to be involved with changing others outlooks on the pandemic to show the many positives that our generation have been able to gain from this experience. I was really honoured to have been a part of this campaign and I truly think that all the discussions and ideas we raised will be noticed and appreciated by future employers. I loved being a part of creating a video that really represented how positive our school community was during the pandemic and the way it showcased the many skills that lots of our pupils gained. 


- E Forshaw 10M


My experience working on the project ‘Changing the Narrative’ has been extremely positive, it has developed me as a person and has provided me with many important skills and qualities that will help me in the future. This campaign consisted of creating informative videos with different collages to be aired and watched from schools all across Greater Manchester. In my opinion, lockdown has had many more positives than negatives: some include: independence, personal organisation and perseverance. Therefore, I believe that as young people, lockdown has developed us as young adults, ready for our futures ahead of us.


- Grace D 10G


"I am incredibly proud of the above students, who whilst working alongside learners in sixth form colleges, have shown a great level of maturity on this project. Their resilience, enthusiasm and desire that setbacks such as a global pandemic would not defeat them, is further evidence that Coronavirus has not affected the drive, or the life chances of this generation of fantastic young people". 

- Mr Cullen Associate Assistant Headteacher